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May 28, 2016
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Title quests

Monticello senior Annie Purcell, left, will help lead the Lady Panthers into their first sectional quest in a decade.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — The die is cast and the stakes are high for local teams, as well as individual harriers, who have earned the right to vie for titles in the looming postseason.

In football, Sullivan West, 6-2 (3-1 Class C), lost its bid for the top seed in Class C Division II by dint of a 30-15 road loss to Millbrook on October 19. Unable to sustain a 15-14 lead that they held at the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs failed to score again as the Blazers, 6-2 (4-0 Class C), added third- and fourth- quarter TDs, replete with two-point conversions, to nail down the top seed. As a result, Sullivan West will face defending champion James I. O’Neill, 7-1 (3-1 Class C), the top seed from Division I at 4 p.m. on October 26 at Middletown’s Faller Field in a semifinal clash. Liberty, 6-2 (3-1 Class C), defeated Onteora 60-6 to clinch its number-two seed spot in Division I. They will play Millbrook at 4 p.m. on October 26 at Dietz Stadium in Kingston. The winners of the semifinals will play for the Section 9 Class C title on November 2 in Middletown. Eldred, 4-4 (2-1 Class D), lost its regular season league game to Chester by the score of 41-0 two weeks ago. The two teams will play for the Section 9 Class D title on November 2 in Middletown at 7 p.m. Chester is the defending Section 9 champ and was NYS Class D runner up in 2011.

In cross-country, Sullivan West senior Reed Scott won the Division IV individual title at Liberty on October 16 with a time of 16:33. Scott, who has been moving up steadily over the past four years, is currently ranked 16th in NYS Class C. He aspires to return to the states and earn a medal this year. Liberty’s Luis Campos (17:43) was fourth, while SW’s Eric Haberli (18:36) was fifth. O’Neill’s boys successfully defended their Division IV crown and were joined by the Lady Raiders, who won their Division IV title. Sullivan West’s girls are now ranked 16th in NYS after knocking off ranked Canastota and Chenango Falls at the Tully Invitational on October 16.

At the Division IV clash, sophomore Kelsey Dutton (20:10) and senior Dani Myers (20:29) finished second and third respectively. Myers came up short in her bid for a fourth consecutive individual title in the race won by O’Neill’s Cameron Daddis (20:05). Tri-Valley’s girls won their 13th consecutive division title as they topped Division V contenders. Freshman Autumn Bender (20:36) led a one-through-six sweep of the top spots followed by Danielle Graham (21:37), Sabrena Smith (21:56), Ali Reynolds (22:36), Brooke Gillette (23:11) and Brittany Pennell (23:34).

Travelling to California for the 65th Annual Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC) Invitational, the Lady Bears, led by Bender, took first place in Division V. All Orange COunty Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) runners will head to Bear Mountain on October 26 for the league meet. One week hence on November 2, they’ll return to Bear Mountain for this year’s sectional championships, wherein the winning teams and the top five runners from the other teams within each class will qualify for states.

In boys soccer sectional seedings have not been set as of this writing, but Liberty, 10-5 (3-3 OCIAA), has already secured a berth in the Class B dance. In addition, Fallsburg, 9-6 (3-4 OCIAA), will vie in the Class C tourney, while Eldred, 3-11 (2-2 OCIAA), owns a spot in the Class D tournament. In girls soccer, Monticello, 8-6 (1-3 OCIAA), has made the Class A Sectionals for the first time in the past 10 years, while Sullivan West, 8-7 (2-3 OCIAA), has punched a ticket to the Class B dance. Eldred, 4-9-1 (2-2 OCIAA), needed a league win over Chapel Field to gain entry to the Class D sectionals. Livingston Manor is already in. Tri-Valley has three league games this week, which will determine its sectional entry status. The Lady Bears are currently 4-5-3 (1-3-1 OCIAA).

For ongoing stories visit www.sportsinsightsny.com and for albums of photos, visit www.sportsinsights.smugmug.com.